Instagram removes Iranian culture minister’s account for publishing post on Gen. Soleimani

January 8, 2022 - 18:15

TEHRAN – The Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance announced on Friday that Instagram has had his Instagram account “removed” for publishing a post on General Qassem Soleimani.

Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaeili published the post last week to commemorate the second anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination in a U.S. air raid in Baghdad.   

Speaking to reporters in Tehran, Esmaeili said, “The media of imperialism is frightened of the names of Iranian legends; the sunlight of Hajji Qassem scares the bats.”

This is not the first time an account of an Iranian official has been locked on global social platforms.

Facebook and Instagram in January 2020 suspended or locked the accounts of many Iranian people and officials who urged “harsh revenge” on General Soleimani’s assassins, in line with what was promised by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.   

Earlier last week in a letter to the directors of Meta (Facebook) and Instagram, Iran’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology asked them “to end censorship of written material as well as photos related to the country’s top anti-terror commander, General Soleimani,” the FNA reported.

The letter was primarily sent to Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive officer of Meta Platforms, Inc., which is the parent organization of Facebook and Instagram.

Copies of the letter were forwarded to Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, and the current Chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission Jessica Rosenworcel.

The letter also reads, “Removal and censorship of the photos and written material related to General Soleimani, who is a well-known hero of the fight against terrorism and eradicator of the ISIS takfiri terrorist group, does not conform to any international norm.”

“Millions of Iranian and non-Iranian Instagram users have been banned from sharing photos, texts and any information related to their beloved hero, and they have not been even given any explanation in this regard nor any instructions on ways to recover their accounts,” the letter added.

“Instagram executives are expected to respect millions of users who adore this anti-terror hero and end this widespread censorship as soon as possible,” the letter concluded.

Photo: Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Mehdi Esmaeili.

MMS/YAW

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